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Should We Change Our Constitution?

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by GraftMeIn, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

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    Under the bill of rights our constitution was changed, the first amendment to our constitution states....

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    BTW this in no way says there needs to be a serperation of church and state. Personally I think that by congress making laws against prayer in school, or any place else is a violation of my rights to practice my freedom of religion, and also violates my freedom of speech. And is also in itself a violation of the constitution.

    I also want you to know I'm not serious about changing the constitution, I'm just playing on the same argument that others are playing on about our Pledge of Allegiance.

    Our Constitution was changed after it was written, things were added to it. to me that makes it no different than the Pledge Of Allegiance.

    So if you want to take "under God" out of the pledge of allegiance, because it wasn't there to begin with, should we also take out anything else that has changed any document during the history of the United States?

    The fact that the words "under God" was added to our pledge speaks about our history, It didn't change history when it happened, It was history in the making.

     
     
  2. Morat

    Morat Untitled One

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      There exist no laws forbidding prayer in school. Any child, or adult, is free to pray at anytime, provided they are non-disruptive.

     
     
  3. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

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    This is true Morat, but there are so many out there trying to make us believe otherwise.
     
  4. Morat

    Morat Untitled One

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      People lie for power. Sometimes they claim to be men of integrity, or even men of God. But if they lie about one thing, why wouldn't they lie about another?

     
     
  5. ashibaka

    ashibaka ShiiAce

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    The First Amendment did not change the Constitution. The Bill of Rights did not change the Constitution. It was appended to the Constitution.

    Change is not always good. IMHO, in the case of "under God" being added, it was bad. On the other hand, change is not always bad.
     
  6. Mallory Knox

    Mallory Knox New Member

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    GAH!

    You. Can. Pray. In. School. If. You. Want.

    Others. Simply. Can't. Be. Forced. To.

    Get it? Get it?
     
  7. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

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    Anytime you add to something, or take away from it, it is in fact changing it.

    It does no harm to anyone by being there, so IMHO it's not a bad thing. wanting to take it out is only a sign of things to come :sigh:

     

     
     
  8. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

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    I understand that. The thing is that when a group of children get together in school and decided they want to gather and pray together, too often they are told they can't do it on school property, and the reason given is always seperation of church and state, something that realy doesn't even exist.

     

     
     
  9. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

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    That's for sure! 

     once I've been lied to by someone, I have a very hard time trusting any thing else they have to say, for the very same reasons you just mentioned.
     
  10. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

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    It certainly does exist. You are right that the constitution does not specifically mention it, but the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of separation ever since the initial years of the republic.

    Also, I agree that sometimes people go too far in church-state separation. It's sometimes a thin line. For example, IIRC the courts have ruled that even "moments of silence" during which prayer can be said are not allowed in school. I question whether this goes too far.

    But we Christians need not worry, the Christian religion dominates American society so much even in the secular sphere that piddly things like removing "under god" from the pledge are not going to endanger the religion.

    -Chris
     
  11. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Monkey Boy

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    Who forces anyone to pray in school?  I thoguht the argument was that an atheist did not want to have to listen to a prayer and that the state was condoning religion by having a state led prayer.  But either way you do not have to pray. 
     
  12. ashibaka

    ashibaka ShiiAce

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    Oh, sorry, you're right. I guess we're going to have to start putting statues of Satan in our government buildings, right? Being that this is a Satanist country and all.

    Like it or not, seperation of church and state is better than any alternative I've heard so far.
     
  13. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

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    There are a number of arguments against having teachers lead prayers in class, both from the non-Christian and Christian side.

    First off, from the Christian side, there would be no way that a law would only allow Christian prayer in the class. That would be clearly unconstitutional. But even if it weren't, why would you want a stranger leading your children in prayer? How do you know what they will say? Some Christians are rather liberal, and might lead the kids in a prayer for unity among the religions and religious tolerance -- would you like that? So who gets to decide what the prayer is? Point being, even Christians should not necessarily want teacher led prayer in schools.

    It is also unlikely that anyone would be sincerely converted to Christianity merely by participating in some prayers for 5 minutes every school day.


    From the non-Christian viewpoint the arguments are more obvious. Sometimes the Christians in support of prayer in school will try to say that the prayer can be made optional. But if you have the teacher leading the prayer, I think it's asking a lot of a 11-year old kid to "go against the teacher" and not follow in the prayer. It may be *officially* optional, but I think it would be very easy for a teacher to twist that situation into one where the students would feel very uncomfortable not participating (and perhaps not with malicious intent -- a sincere teacher who was a Christian might unknowingly pressure the non-Christian students to say the prayer).

    Prayer and religion is best left outside the classroom, and I am saying this from a Christian standpoint rather than a non-Christian standpoint.

    -Chris
     
  14. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

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    Kern,
    If the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of separation then they have ruled in favor of a law that doesn't exist. And against the law that does exist.

    I agree with you about the teachers not leading the kids in a prayer, teachers in a public school should only teach the basics. the point I guess i'm trying to make is that if a few children want to gather on the lawn on school property and pray, (no teachers involved here) they are told they can't do it, when in fact the consitution was meant to protect them from this very thing.
     
  15. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

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    If that is what the children are told, then the administrators are wrong. I am not certain that happens very often, but when it does the outrage sparks all over the country.

    And as to the supreme court, they are given the power (by the constitution) to interpret the constitution. The court has ruled consistently for more than 200 years that the interpretation of the 1st amendment is separation of church and state. You may disagree with this, but they are not outside their power to make such rulings.

    -Chris
     
  16. Brimshack

    Brimshack New Member

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    On separation of church and state: Saying that isn't in the constitution is an equivocal point. The words themselves are not in the constitution, but it is a reasonable paraphrase, and it is one that has guided case law for a significant period of time.

    On Worries about the future: What are you scared of? That we will stop you from praying in the churches or your homes. You have no reason to believe that unbelievers are out to do that. The wording of the pledge itself, and it's McCarthy era history are ample reason to believe that some Christians are attempting to use the schools as a forum to promote their religion. Add in the occassional comment that atheists can't be good Americans, or that we shouldn't be allowed to hold office, and we have far more reason to be concerned than you do.

    On the misinterpretation of the Abington School District decision. I'm sorry, but it is conservative Christians who have been saying for decaes that people were forbidden to pray in the schools, implying that even private acts of prayer are forbidden. It is christians such as that lawyer, Jay Seculo, that have been staging individual "student-led" initiatives to finess a form of establishment. If there is confusion over this, I think Christian leadership that has the most to answer for on the topic. I would agree that some individuals have been wrongfully denoed their chance to express their views openly (as that class validictorian almost wasy), but it doesn't help to clarify the issue that every major conservative Chrisian leader has bee blatantly deceitful about the significance of that precedent for some time now.

    Yes the Constitution has been changed, can be changed, and most likely, will be from time to time. Those who advocate changing it over this are, however, cutting back on the very notion that one's religion is his own personal business. You can yankee-talk your way around it all you want, but if you provide the government with a means of promoting religious beliefs, you are ultimately sacrificing individual freedoms. It may be at our expense now (unbelievers aren't real Americans anyway, right?), but don't be surprised if it comes back on your own communities later.

    (P.S. if this one seems a bit more strident than usual, it's not really because of anyone on this thred, or really any of the others. I still maintain that the conservatives on this forum have argued the case better than almost all of the commentators I've seen on TV. As I've said before, I think the right wing leadership is determined to roll this one over based on brute strength rather than Constitutional reasoning. That's what's getting me angry, which is rediculous, because I should know to take these culture-wars issues with a grain of salt anyway.)
     
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